Depending on what reports you read or who you get your St. Louis Cardinals content from, there are varying levels of opinion about how aggressive they are truly going to be this offseason.
Local reporters like Derrick Goold, Katie Woo, and Jeff Jones are going to continuously bring quality reporting to the scene, and keeping an eye on national writers like Ken Rosenthal and Jeff Passan can put the Cardinals' plans in perspective with the rest of baseball.
The overwhelming narrative has been that the Cardinals do intend to make significant moves this offseason, and according to Bob Nightengale, even a rival GM is noticing how aggressive the Cardinals appear to be.
If have been on social media at all the past few days, you would have noticed quite the back and forth about comments John Mozeliak made regarding payroll. The initial feeling amongst fans was frustration as it appeared they would be conservative once again, but Goold's reporting over at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (subscription required) still seems to indicate that spending is coming.
One of the things that Mozeliak has noted, along with multiple reporters, is that the Cardinals will likely look to the trade market for at least one of their upgrades this winter, which could come in a variety of forms. One of the names Goold has linked to the Cardinals this offseason is Dylan Cease, the White Sox ace who has been rumored to be available this winter.
Well according to Nightengale, the White Sox are listening to offers on Cease, making him one of the most attractive trade chips on the market. Depending on the availability of names like Corbin Burnes, Tyler Glasnow, Logan Gilbert, and Shane Bieber, the competition for Cease could vary, but the Cardinals are in a strong position regardless to make a deal.
One of the major advantages of going after a Cease is that the White Sox are in rebuilding mode, and he's cost-controlled through the 2025 season. The right-hander is set to make $8.8 million in 2024, a significant discount from what the top free-agent arms will make in any given season. Unlike the Mariners, the White Sox are not trying to balance winning now as well, so the Cardinals would likely be able to major on talent prospects in a deal rather than multiple core pieces of their Major League club.
I've got five trade proposals cooked up that I think could get a deal done between the Cardinals and White Sox this offseason. The first two deals listed would be more of where I would lean when it comes to Cease's price tag and what I would give up to acquire him, but all five deals could be something Chicago entertains in any given package.